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Inspiring the next generation

Our Performances for Schools give students the opportunity to experience all the emotion, spectacle and intensity of a full-length and fully staged Glyndebourne opera.

Lucy Perry, our Head of Learning & Engagement, explains how our performances for schools are helping to inspire the next generation of opera lovers.

Since 2006, we have invited over 28,000 students to experience all the emotion, spectacle and intensity of a full-length and fully staged Glyndebourne opera.

We live in extraordinary times, and if this past year has shown us anything, it is that being in the same room with other people experiencing live performance is extraordinary and essential for us as human beings. The ability to express our emotions, dreams and ideas through music and stories is more important than ever.

We are passionate about opening up opportunities for young people to discover, through Glyndebourne, the stories and creations of some of the most talented people in history, as well as those making opera today.

As well as offering heavily subsidised tickets for all students, we provide schools with:

  • a range of free resources to help make the most of their opera experience
  • the option for up to 200 pupils to complete an Arts Award as part of their experience
  • a relaxed space with a live link to the stage (Ebert Room) to ensure that all members of the audience enjoy the experience, even if they become overwhelmed
  • guidance and support to schools that wish to achieve Artsmark status
  • a grant for state schools to help with the cost of booking transport for their trip.

All of our schools performances are introduced from the stage, and after the show members of the cast come out to the foyers to meet the students, answer any questions, and of course pose for those all important selfies!

A Così fan tutte Performance for Schools in 2017

We know that to reach as broad a range of pupils as possible, especially those from underrepresented groups, we can’t do this alone. This is why we also work in partnership with local organisations. This year the University of Sussex and University of Brighton, local music hubs and the Golden Lion Trust are all helping us to reach more young people.

We also work with PGCE students studying to become teachers in Music and Drama at the University of Sussex, and Visual Arts and Modern Foreign Languages at the University of Brighton to embed deeper engagement with lasting impact. The students work with a composer, stage director and Glyndebourne singers to make their own composition inspired by the opera and create a scene in collaboration with the director and singers. This cohort of students become teachers in schools the following year, apply what they’ve learned about bringing opera alive in the classroom and bring their classes to performances in future years.

We don’t just limit these experiences to Glyndebourne. When we go on Tour each autumn our Learning & Engagement team works closely with partners (in Liverpool, Norwich, Canterbury and Milton Keynes) to provide access to performances for students across the country, with subsidised school tickets and a package of resources to support their visits.

We are not complacent, and recognise that there are always more opportunities to support underrepresented schools to access these performances, especially in the current context of declining school trips and the devastating impact of Covid-19.

With your support we can increase our travel grant, amplify the support we give to schools, make more tickets available, and crucially make it possible for more young people to experience the power of live opera.

‘It was a unique and enthralling experience that I was lucky to witness. I had never been to the opera before but it was much better than I expected.

– Student

Donate today to help support our Performances for Schools programme. Add a donation when booking your Tour tickets online or simply donate below.

For more information, please contact our Development Manager, Tanya Richardson 01273 815419.

Image credits: Photos by Sam Stephenson

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